For large dealerships with large territories like Fitzgerald Auto Mall, having a good training regimen in place is vital.
“It’s our belief that (training) is the most important aspect of the sales manager’s job,” Scott Addison, corporate F+I Trainer for Fitzgerald Auto Mall, recently told Mega Dealer News.
The family-owned dealership has 13 locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida, employing 1,000 workers.
Its training program helps to standardize the work of the many new hires that come in “green” while also preparing them for leadership positions in the company down the road.
Senior leaders ascribe some of the firm’s long-term success to the “Fitzway,” a customer service and business philosophy that promotes good customer results.
A big part of the Fitzway involves employee mentoring.
Addison described a process by which new hires are groomed by in-house mentors and the senior employee acting as a mentor is compensated.
Another tool, he said, is different levels of pay structures that help new employees learn the ropes, and climb the ranks, each at his or her own pace.
Addison said while many employees are “ready to be released to the customer experience” within three months, the dealership group continues to groom team members for success over the long term.
“We should always be looking to fill our bench for management,” Addison said.
In addition to training its employees to deliver the best customer experience possible, Addison said its new “Insignia” tool helps to deliver a personal touch.
“It’s less about selling than helping customers to take control of personalizing their car,” Addison said in a YouTube video showing how sales people work with the technology.
Addison described part of what the sales teams do as “consulting” rather than sales.
All of that takes excellent, universalized training, and that’s part of what allows this multi-generation company to compete in a new world of auto sales.